“I can see the light”, Mthuli Ncube tells Zimbabwe Senate


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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube today told the Senate that the future of Zimbabwe is bright.

Presenting his ministerial statement on the mid-term budget review, Ncube said: “Madam President, let me say the future is bright, I can see the light and growth will be better next year.  We are on a winning wicket for those of you who like cricket.  I will find the right expression for those who like soccer.”

Below is the full statement:

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

SUMMARY OF 2020 MID-TERM BUDGET AND ECONOMIC REVIEW

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Madam President, Members of the August House, we felt it important that I should give a statement on the economy and on the Mid-Term performance for the first half of the year.  We had an opportunity to present this in full to the Lower House last week and you were in recess and felt that we should respect  you and I should come here and make a similar statement.  It will be compressed – hopefully short, sharp and to the point. I will not read it for one and half hours and send everyone to sleep.

Madam President, from a policy point of view, as Government we want to affirm our commitment to fiscal discipline.  That is why we did not request for a presentation before you of a supplementary budget.  We do not want to chase inflation, we want to commit to fiscal discipline.  This will be the second year that we are doing this in terms of balancing our budget.  Secondly, we want to commit to a balance in our balance of payments, which is our external balance.  Again, I am happy to report that progress so far is in the right direction.  We are committing to that.  We also want to commit as policy workers to monetary discipline to accompany fiscal discipline.  We are acutely aware that committing to these three things is what is needed that is incentives and that is the fuel to us pursuing a successful objective around raising productivity and growing our economy again.

So focus on productivity does require us to make that commitment and that is what our policy announcement last week tried to convey.  We need to create jobs and we also need to make sure that we drive the country’s competitiveness.  Also, we want to make sure that we do everything we can from an economic point of view to stabilise our currency which is the root cause of price increases in the shops and which is eroding the livelihoods of ordinary citizens.

As we do this, we also want to make sure Madam President that we stimulate demand so you find that I made proposals, for instance to increase the tax bands and to increase threshold for taxation.  Also, we want to stimulate the supply side – not just the demand side but the supply side of the economy.  This we are doing through the stimulus package which I announce earlier but then affirmed through the Mid-Term Review.  That is our roadmap, that is the direction and we want to make that commitment and show that focus.  Let me be more granular, having said those words as a preamble.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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